Leaving Cert. Biology DNA and Genetics Terms

Leaving CertificateBiology

  • SpeciesOrganisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring.
  • Heredity – The passing on of traits from parent to offspring by means of genes
  • Gene Expression – The process of using the information on the gene to make a protein
  • Gene – A unit of DNA which codes for the production of a specific protein
  • DNA – Deoxyribonucleic Acid – a double stranded nucleic acid
  • RNA – Ribonucleic Acid – a single stranded nucleic acid
  • DNA profiling – Examining DNA for a pattern or band that can be compared with a known sample
  • Coding DNA – That part of the chromosome which carries the information to make a protein
  • Non-coding DNA – That part of the chromosome which does not carry the information to make a protein
  • Genetic screening – Testing (people) for the presence of a (specific) gene or To establish presence or absence of gene(s)
  • Transcription – The process of producing mRNA using DNA as a template.
  • Translation – The process of making a protein using the mRNA code a template
  • Pyrimidine Bases – Adenine and Guanine are the two pyrimidine bases. They are single ring molecules
  • Purine Bases – Cytosine and Thymine are the two purine bases. They are double ring molecules
  • mRNA – Messenger RNA takes the complementary DNA strand out of the nucleus and into the cytoplasm.
  • tRNA – Transfer RNA – As the mRNA moves through, tRNA molecules carrying the appropriate amino acid bind to the RNA codon to which they are matched, and the sequence of amino acids is put together.
  • rRNA – Ribosomal RNA – found in the ribosome and allow protein synthesis to occur
  • Gamete – A haploid sex cell which is capable of fusion
  • Fertilisation – The fusion of 2[haploid] gametes to form a [diploid] zygote
  • Allele – An alternative form of a gene
  • Locus – Is the position of a gene on a chromosome
  • Homozygous – Has identical alleles [for a trait]
  • Heterozygous – Has different alleles [for a trait]
  • Genotype – The genetic make-up of an individual
  • Phenotype – Physical appearance of an organism
  • Progeny – The offspring that are produced
  • Dominance – One allele masks the expression of the other.
  • Recessive – Allele whose expression is masked by dominant allele
  • Incomplete Dominance – Neither allele masks the expression of the other.
  • Autosomes – Non sex chromosomes
  • Variation – Difference between members of species or population
  • Mutation – Change in the genetic make up
  • Mutagen – An agent that causes a mutation
  • Gene mutation – Changes that occur in a single gene
  • Chromosome mutation – Large changes that occur in the structure or number of one or more chromosomes
  • Genetic engineering – Manipulation or alteration of genes
  • Restriction Enzymes – Enzymes that cut DNA
  • DNA Ligase – An enzyme that sticks DNA together
  • Evolution – (Inheritable) change within a population (or species) / in response to change in the environment / by natural selection/over time
  • Natural Selection – Is the process by which those organisms with genetically controlled characteristics that allow them to be well adapted to their environment will survive and reproduce and pass on their genes to the next generation
  • Palaeontology – The study of fossils
  • Law of Segregation – Inherited factors are controlled by pairs of factors. These factors separate from each other at gamete formation with only one member of the pair being found on the gamete
  • Law of Independent Assortment – When gametes are formed either of a pair of factors is equally likely to combine with another pair of factors
  • Linkage – Genes that are located on the same chromosome
  • Sex Linkage – The characteristic is controlled by a gene on an X chromosome
  • Non nuclear inheritance – Extra nuclear genes that are present in mitochondria and chloroplasts and can reproduce by themselves and pass on their genes to resulting organelles.
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